Fish carving

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Fish sculpture, fish decoys, fish carvings and fish trophies are the names given to a style of painted wood carving practiced by various artisans. The works are kept as decorations and collectible as folk art.

British fish carvers include John B. Russell (Scottish), John and Dhuie Tully, P.B. Malloch and the Hardy Brothers. Artists Ellen McCaleb & Eric L Knowlton work in the United States. Styles of carving can range from simple folk art, miniature decoys, 'European' style carvings (side profile of fish usually displayed on a wood panel) and highly detailed lifesized and ultra realism. For realism, some paint on scale patterns, others carve in the scale details but most of the World Championship realistic carvings feature scales burned in with a wood burning pen, one at a time, often with scale designs created just for that specific fish. Example from artist Eric L Knowlton of Reel Trout Studio, Alaska, shown here:


The Gathering (show) bills itself as the world's largest wooden-carved fish decoy show and is held annually in Perham, Minnesota. It will be in its 13th year in 2010[1][2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Matt Bewley Phillips's love of carving goes back to 1950s when he was a Scout Archived 2009-03-25 at the Wayback Machine. The Daily Journal March 29, 2007 Fergus Falls Journal
  2. ^ Scott Tedrick Time to Meander Advocate Tribune (Granite Falls
  3. ^ Events calendar

Further reading[edit]

  • Swanson, Ronald S. Fish Models, Plaques & Effigies. Far Hills, New Jersey: Meadow Run Press, Inc., 2009
  • Bob Berry Fish Carving: An Introduction
  • James Fliger Freshwater Fish Carving (Schiffer Book for Carvers) by 1989
  • Rick Beyer Decorative Fish Carving 1990)
  • Anthony Hillman Carving Traditional Fish Decoys: With Patterns and Instructions for 17 Projects 1993